After 30 years, TeeGee Toys has a new board game out.
Boardman's George Kovach, who is also an area artist, along with his TeeGee Toys partner Tom Guza, decided to "roll the dice" once again.
After selling their first game invention to a major toy company, they have come up with a new board game called Mega Moves.
Photo special to the Town?Crier
Local artist George Kovach poses with his new board game, ‘Mega Moves.’
Kovach says, "I can't believe it has been that long, but 30 years ago we invented a card and dice game called Luck Plus. It was based on the popular card game at the time UNO but was played with dice. Players would roll the dice and try to match the cards in their hand with the combination rolled on the dice. If you made a match, you kept on rolling, if you couldn't make a match you had to take a card."
The makers of UNO, International Games Inc. (bought out by Mattel), sold approximately 1.5 million games, and their company made about $4 million.
"After we sold Luck Plus, we invented a second card game called Wild Wits," Kovach said.
"Mega Moves is actually our third invention. However, video games started to take over the toy market, so card and board games were out."
Kovach states that as with most things in life, everything comes full circle and board games are making a comeback. He said he was thinking what other great games could dice be incorporated into, and the choice was checkers and chess. He said Mega Moves is a perfect blend of those two games, where the roll of the dice dictates how you move.
However, there is one aspect that makes Mega Moves different than any other game out there. Instead of combining the dice, you split the dice and move two game pieces per turn. For example, if you roll a 2 and a 3 on the dice, one piece moves two spaces and the other piece moves three spaces. These movements can be in and straight direction, forward, backward, sideways, and even diagonally.
Each piece has the possibility of moving eight different ways.
The object of the game is to land exactly on a space that your opponent has one of his pieces on and take his man. The last player left with men is the winner. The game is as easy as checkers to learn, Kovach said, but way more exciting while having way more strategies than chess yet simple to master.
"Mega Moves is checkers and chess taken to the next level," he said.
Another aspect that makes Mega Moves more exciting and challenging that any other game out there is that the dice are specially marked. The dice are marked 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and X for an extra turn. Some examples are if you roll a 2 and a 0, one piece moves two spaces, and the other has no movement. If you roll two 0s you lose your turn. If you roll 2 and X, one piece moves two spaces then you get another turn.
Basically, players try to stay away from a direct line of an opponent but when you roll an X you know you are getting an extra turn, so an "attacking strategy'' would be then move into a direct line of your opponent's piece and try and to roll the correct number to make a capture.
There are also special Mega Spaces on the board that are safe spaces where no capture can be made.
Karen Lawrence, a graphic artist who works at Stiler's print shop in Columbiana, designed the box, board and rules.
Early players of Mega Moves have given the game positive reviews.
"The game is really fun and quick and easy to learn," said Michelle Binion.
"I was very impressed with the quality of the game," said Bob Fowler. "It was very well made and a good game to play."
George Kovach said that he will display the game at the Eastwood Expo Center for Black Friday weekend at the gift and toy expo.
There are some local establishments where shoppers can buy Mega Moves, including The Frame Depot Gallery on U.S. Route 422 that handles Kovach's original artwork and prints; Dorian bookstore near YSU; the gift shop at the Butler Institute of American Art, which also has Kovach's prints for sale; and Kraynak's in Sharon, Pa., where live demonstrations will be given on certain Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m.
Mocha House in Boardman, Peaberry's and Cards and Collectibles in Boardman also plan to carry the game soon.